That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind – a quote infamous for two reasons: the first words uttered by a man on the moon, and the answer to the feared 'Bioinformatics Challenge' at the most recent incarnation of Beyond The Genome, a conference run annually by Genome Biology and our sister journal Genome Medicine.
The challenge, run each year on the conference's Informatics day, involves the deciphering of a hidden code within a package of sequence data, using all the computational biology skills that the participants can muster. It's a race against the clock, and the winner is awarded with what we describe in all modesty as a truly awesome prize.
A special DNA Day challenge
In honor of the 60th anniversary of the publication of the three Nature papers that first described the structure of DNA, Genome Biology is running a special ultra-tricky Bioinformatics Challenge in April that will be open to all comers. Unlike the usual one-step puzzle run at Beyond The Genome conferences, the DNA Day challenge will consist of a number of steps unfolding over a number of days. It was on April 25th 1953 that Watson & Crick, Franklin & Gosling, and Wilkins, Stokes & Wilson shared the secret of DNA with the world, and it will be exactly 60 years later – on April 25th 2013 – that the final step of our bonus Bioinformatics Challenge will be unleashed on the world.
Update: More details about the Challenge are now available here.